Friday, September 19, 2014

wacky tacky Tunes: "Shooting Star" Are GO!

If there is such a thing as the complete opposite of a sci-fi geek, then that is what I am.  Far too vast for my meager brain to even begin to comprehend, I have always hated space and all of its trappings.  Beyond appreciating the beauty of one that is twinkling/little or one that is falling, I have zero interest in "treks," "wars," or anything else that might have to do with stars.  Did I ever want to become an astronaut?  Nope.  Do I believe in aliens?  I try not to think about it.  Would I venture into space should something catastrophic happen to Earth?  Honestly, I would run head first into the catastrophe and leave the light years and light sabers to those more daring.

The only time I am challenged to question my own grumpy belief system is when space and science-fiction are infused with subjects much closer to my heart: 1960s pop music, celebrity cameos, and puppet portraiture!  After our entries into the world of puppetry, both peanut and paper bag, it is clear that wacky tacky is not only a participant, but a patron of the puppet arts; unfortunately, our puppetry efforts were preemptively put to shame by the creative geniuses at Thunderbirds.  In an extraordinary scene (see: rocket ship guitars, Jetson-esque bubble-top cars, exploding planets) from the feature film, Thunderbirds are GO, British pop star, Cliff Richard, and his band, The Shadows, make an unforgettable musical cameo appearance.

"Shooting Star" - Cliff Richard & The Shadows from Thunderbirds Are GO (1966)

Much like the final frontier that is space, the lyrics of "Shooting Star" are vaguely threatening and make very little sense to me.  But even in zero-gravity, this song, co-penned by the vocalist, has got a good beat and you can dance to it!

"Sometimes I feel you are cheating me.
Then you kiss me and my mind is free.
But then I think I should let you know
That I've got friends. So baby, listen to me.

A shooting star will shoot you
And Mars will got to war.
The Man in the Moon will jump on you
If you don't love me no more.

I saw you in someone else's car.
You told me that he won't go too far.
That may be so, but you let him know
That I've got friends.  So baby, listen to me.


You tell me that I'm the man for you.
But you do things you should never do.
So now, hear this warning once again;
Yes, I've got friends. So baby, listen to me.


If you don't stop making me lose face,
I will have you put up there in space.
So, just do what I'm a-tellin' you,
'Cause I've got friends; baby listen to me."

Introduced in the clip as "the biggest star in the universe," it seems like there has to have been some small-print disclaimer that flashed across the screen, clarifying that the use of the word "universe" was used in specific reference to the flying, British space ranger, puppet universe.  Nevertheless, Cliff Richard has enjoyed a decades-long career in the UK, including a 1987 appearance on The Dame Edna Experience and a 1995 knighthood.  Should you somehow exist in a world without knowledge of Sir Cliff Richard's star power, here is one of his biggest hits, "Move It."

"Move It" - Cliff Richard & The Shadows (1960)

Instead of a country obsessed with winning the "Space Race," I'm thinking that I really should've been raised in earthbound Britain; I'm pretty sure their entire space program was the Thunderbirds.  A country that immortalizes its celebrities in marionette form, sounds like good people to me.

In an undeniable example of puppets who look like people who look
like puppets, we see Cliff Richard examining his marionette likeness.

Hank Marvin of The Shadows playing "[Mini] Me & My Shadow."

Are you a sci-fi fan?  Do you thrill over the Thunderbirds?  Would you like to be immortalized as a space-walking marionette?  I think I understand the lyrics to "Shooting Star," but just to be sure, could you please explain them to me?


Mr. Tiny

**p.s. While this post is definitely intended as a celebration of a musical puppet show rather than a man, it should be disclosed that Cliff Richard has been in the news lately for alleged, extremely-unsavory behavior.  At this time, we avoid passing judgment because wacky tacky is not a court of law, America has a firm belief that a man is innocent until proven guilty, and we really hope that any potential allegations are untrue.** 


  1. Ah, Thunderbirds! Having grown up in England in the late 60s (yes, I am ancient) & bearing the name "Penelope" yet disliking the colour pink, I have decidedly mixed feelings....

    1. What a great name! I hope enough time has passed that you can begin to embrace your birth rite!!!